By Freedom Newspapers
Ray Nagin must find it hard to walk with a foot perpetually lodged in his mouth. The New Orleans mayor was at it again last week, trashing New York’s Ground Zero rebuilding efforts in a pathetic attempt to deflect criticism over the slow progress in cleaning up his city’s Ninth Ward.
Nagin was interviewed for a piece on “60 Minutes,” from which he was quoted in a New York Daily News report published Saturday: “You guys in New York can’t get a hole in the ground fixed and it’s five years later.”
The difference between building a memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and restoring housing and vital infrastructure to a key New Orleans neighborhood is profound. It would be misguided to expect New Orleans to be restored just a year after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, but as reported in the Sept. 4 issue of Newsweek, residents of the Ninth Ward are still without reliable water and sewer lines.
No, Nagin is not to blame for all of New Orleans’ ills. But his penchant for outlandish statements, revisionist history and finger-pointing leaves us wondering how he won re-election six months ago.
Concerning his Martin Luther King Day speech, in which he vowed that New Orleans would again be a “chocolate city” because “it’s the way God wants it to be,” Nagin told Newsweek: “I wanted to be a little edgy because I knew that the national media. . . would pick it up and spread the word to displaced voters in other states.”
Hmm, that’s odd, because just after delivering the speech he tried to rationalize his comments by stating: “How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about.”
No matter what Nagin says, it becomes increasingly hard to swallow.